Abstract: The general concept of law as an order of persons and the means (and actions) that belong to them is formalized in an axiomatic system. At this stage, no distinction is made between natural and artificial (“legal”) persons. The aim is to explicate the common logical core of most material theories of law in the Western tradition, without going into their semantic and pragmatic aspects. Then the concept of natural law, as an order of natural persons, is given a similar treatment, so that it becomes possible to investigate the status of natural persons in various theories of law that answer to the general concept of law analysed previously. Finally, the concept of human law is introduced to investigate the status in law of human persons.
Abstract: When H.-H. Hoppe claimed (in A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism, 1989) that the principles of libertarianism were argumentatively irrefutable, both the logical coherence and the relevance of his “argument from argumentation” were criticized. While occasionally some of these criticisms still crop up, this paper defends Hoppe’s claim against them from the vantage point of the author’s own work (in Dutch) on the ethics of dialogue in the nineteen-seventies. It presents a more detailed and systematic presentation of the “argument from argumentation” than Hoppe had need for in the particular context of his book. It makes a distinction between arguments about principles and arguments about particular cases in which these principles may be invoked; and between the normative validity (as a matter of principle) of certain presumptions and the fact that in particular cases these presumptions hold only in principle and can be refuted by the evidence pertaining to the cases.
Abstract: The long stagflation in the nineteen-seventies broke the Keynesian hold on economic policy. Last year we witnessed the spectacular unraveling of neo-liberal policies of manipulating money and credit. While these episodes might be studied to explain the specific weaknesses and errors of each of the two policy paradigms that have dominated in the West after the Second World War, this lecture highlights the ideas and presuppositions that remained in place throughout the whole period. Despite the alliance that once existed between libertarians and classical liberals, on the one hand, and neo-liberals, on the other hand, the latter did not have sufficiently coherent conceptions of freedom and free markets to produce a true alternative for the Keynesian idea of a scientifically managed economy as a utilitarian and pragmatic approach to the utopian goal of the greatest happiness for the greatest number, i.e., complete well-being for all.